By Lickety Glitz
… to worry that Mom’s behavior wasn’t old age quirky-ness, but possibly a much more serious problem.
… a new career that required relocating away from family, friends, and the region I loved best.
… to consult with Dad on my visits home about how long we thought it might be before he needed me back permanently to support him in Mom’s care. Another year? Three? Five?
… breathing when the ER doctor announced on conference call that Dad had stage 4 pancreatic cancer. I could tell that those who were there in-person had stopped breathing too.
… sharing 24/7 care for Mom with my sister when Dad died three weeks later.
… blogging about our dementia adventures a year later as a way to keep far off friends and family engaged in Mom’s life. I’ve been writing for over a year now, and…
… I’ve started to realize it’s so much more.
It’s a lifeline for me. An umbilical cord to a not-so-distant universe of word-weaving creativity; now a tiny galaxy of curling and curving locution that tethers me to the world of my present.
It’s a permanent record of a journey I don’t want to forget. An autobiography of dementia certainties: misplaced items, misplaced poop, mismanaged emotions. A sweeping saga of dementia unknowns; tremendous courage, epic failures, colossal comedies.
It’s a connection to a massive universe of dementia caregivers who see their journey mirrored in ours. It’s a connection to a smaller cosmos of family and friends who can’t always be with their beloved Gloria but want to stay informed. It’s a connection to my sister, The Other Girl, a relationship sometimes fragile and strained, but united in a never-questioned bond of love for our mother.
And lastly, it’s a connection to myself; my devastating defeats, my soaring successes, my inherited joy of hilarity in the tragically absurd – a gift from Mom and Dad who shared the same comedic sensibilities. When I write a post, whether dire and dark or laugh-out-loud light, I have to relive my emotions, examine my responses, assess my behavior with unflinching honesty. If I shrink from that often-painful task, then I am doing everyone who follows our adventures a disservice in telling a dishonest tale.
A year ago, I sat down at my computer to inform family and friends of Mom’s dementia progression. A year later I rise in realization that I’m actually telling myself about myself.
About the Author
Stumped Town Dementia is a personal blog chronicling the dementia adventures of Girl and The Other Girl, sharing hilarious, heartbreaking, bittersweet and courageous moments of life with our Mom who has vascular dementia. We celebrate the insanity and relish the laughter of this long, strange journey. It helps us make it through the days when there are no smiles to be had.
Stumped Town Dementia has been featured on The Caregiver Space, Family Caregiver Alliance, Being Patient, and Alzheimer’s Society UK.
Lickety Glitz has been a former just about everything from non-profits arts administrator to cabaret performer to post-production professional to Crappiest Daughter of the Year award winner about 40+ years in a row. She recently broke that winning streak by stepping up to the plate, hand-in-hand with The Other Girl, to provide their dementia mom with the best end-of-life care possible.
Connect with Lickety Glitz
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